Roads less travelled

Disgruntled residents of Ga-Maeteletja, formerly Harrismith outside Lephalale, have taken their service delivery frustrations to the streets last week.

The roads are clearly impassible and disrupt locals from getting to work

They are complaining about the high rate of unemployment and lack of proper road access in their area.

They claim to have been promised jobs earlier this year, however nothing has happened in this regard yet.

Residents reportedly dug holes in the three entry gravel roads to Ga-Maeteletja, from Kiti, Bangalong and the gravel road near the D3110 which is used to travel to either Mokuronyane or Shongoane.

In the meantime, a few kilometres away in Hlagalakwena, a relatively similar situation arose on Monday morning. Unhappy community members held a service delivery protest between Hlagalakwena and Mmaletswai.

Residents of Hlagalakwena say that since the heavy rains on Sunday 18 February 2018 their roads have not been accessible. With the gravel roads flooded, the road became risky to use and this resulted in employees unable to travel to work, mainly to Medupi, for more than two weeks.

One resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the demands of residents are not unreasonable; to have their roads cleared and to have a proper alternative road while the flooded one is fixed. He says he is one of the employees that only began to work again this past Tuesday since the heavy rains almost three weeks ago.

“This is unfair to the community of Hlagalakwena as since mid-February we have been cut-off from the outside world. Some companies were beginning to issue warnings to their employees who have not reported to work for two weeks now.

He says that it was only after protests on Monday that they were attended to and given the same promises that they have heard a number of times.

“These promises have not been met previously and I wonder if anything will change this time. Just today (referring to Tuesday) I had to walk approximately 2 km before I got transport to work as buses can’t enter our area yet.”

The resident says they were told one of the roads is a district road and the municipality cannot fix it.

He furthermore said councillors don’t answer their phones when they are called on matters like this.

Efforts to get a comment from Lephalale Municipality Mayor Jack Maeko were fruitless as his phone rang unanswered and messages that were sent did not get responded to.

Also, at the time of going to print, questions sent to Lephalale Municipality about these developments had not been responded to.

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